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A 28th Death Recorded Worldwide in Connection with Faulty Takata Airbags

| Photo: D.Boshouwers
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Daniel Rufiange
There are still millions of vehicles with the defective airbags still on the road around the world

It's been a while since we've heard about those infamous faulty Takata airbags, but the death last month of the driver of a 2006 Ford Ranger pickup truck in Florida following a minor accident has put the faulty components back in the news.

Those Takata airbags, recall, were equipped with a faulty inflator that could explode in the event of a collision, sending shrapnel that could seriously injure or even kill the person supposedly being protected. The death of the 23-year-old man is the 28th fatality worldwide, and the 19th in the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said last Thursday that it is working to confirm the details of the crash before deciding whether further action is needed.

Some 67 million vehicles have already been recalled and repaired worldwide, but unfortunately, millions of vehicles equipped with the faulty airbags are still on the road. And the older the airbag, the higher the risk.

At the time, Takata used ammonium nitrate to create the small explosion that inflates the airbags in an accident. The problem is that the chemical can become more volatile over time when exposed to moisture in the air and repeated high temperatures. The explosion can shatter a metal canister and send shrapnel into the passenger compartment.

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The pickup involved in the accident that killed the young man had been recalled by Ford in January 2016. In fact, the company had called 391,000 vehicles back to the shop in Canada and the United States at the time, specifically models from the 2004-to-2006 model-years.

What's even sadder about the Florida death is that Ford says a representative was sent to the owner's home to schedule repairs that had not been completed. The company is urging all Ranger owners to have their model repaired because of the safety risk.

The last Takata airbag death before this one dates to September 2020 and involved a BMW in Arizona. Numerous deaths have occurred in Honda vehicles, great numbers of which were fitted with Takata airbags. Takata has since gone bankrupt and was bought out by a Chinese firm.

Because not all of the faulty airbags have been replaced yet, NHTS invites vehicle owners to visit its website to check if theirs is still under recall for this problem. The information can be obtained using the vehicle identification number, or VIN.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists